Posted by: Christine | August 8, 2013

Wapping to Bethlehem

It’s funny where you get information from – that information that suddenly solves a family history problem that has been nagging at you for some time.

In my research on Captain John Madder, I have found out quite a bit about his family. I know he married, in 1687, Isabella Foster (by complete coincidence I have a great-niece called Isabella Foster – spooky!) and had two sons, and a daughter, also called Isabella. As far as I can tell, this daughter Isabella Madder was the only child still living after his death in 1705, but not for long – she died in 1708, at the age of 16.

It is her burial entry in register of Saint Dunstan and All Saints, that has puzzled me.

Burial of Isabella Madder (London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Dunstan and All Saints, Register of burials, Mar 1701/2 - Feb 1708/9, P93/DUN, Item 128)

Burial of Isabella Madder (London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Dunstan and All Saints, Register of burials, Mar 1701/2 – Feb 1708/9, P93/DUN, Item 128)

Just her name and the words “Wapping to Bethlehem”. I realised this was a reference to Bethlehem (Bedlam) Hospital, but why? Was she locked up there? Unlikely, as she was well enough to write a will shortly before her death (see my previous post). This reference was what has been nagging at me.

Today it was solved – by a retweeted link to the latest news that the Crossrail diggers have found the Bedlam Burial Ground, which was under part of Liverpool Street Station. It contains thousands of bodies from all over London. More important, it closed in 1714, six years after Isabella was sent from Wapping to Bethlehem. She must be one of those bodies.

There is to be an excavation next year and the article states that Jay Carver (lead archaeologist on the Crossrail sites) has a problem “there are no surviving burial records for the cemetery, and instead names are scattered through thousands of records in the parishes where they lived or died. He hopes to ask the public for help in tracking them down.”

How do I get in touch?

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Responses

  1. Jay Carver (lead archaeologist) has a LinkedIn profile (http://trunc.it/orpgf) you may be able to contact him through there

  2. […] he hadn’t proved the will of Isabella. See Horrid Murder ! , A Problem with Wills and Wapping to Bethlehem . I thought I had found all there was to find. I was wrong. Daniel Shanke had taken the matter […]


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